The Last Airbender is the film adaptation of the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is the first part of a planned film trilogy adapting the three seasons of the animated series. It has been marketed and released in a joint effort by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The screenplay has been written and the film has been directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Producers include Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer and Scott Aversano. Filming began in mid-March 2009, and the release date was on July 1, 2010. Many novelizations of the movie were released on May 22, 2010.
The film stars Noah Ringer as Aang, a 12 year old boy who would prefer to avoid his job as the Avatar in favour of adventure. Aang, and his friends Katara and Sokka travel to the Northern Water Tribe at the North Pole in order to find a Waterbending master to teach Aang. At the same time, Fire Lord Ozai, the ruler of the Fire Nation, is waging a seemingly endless war against the Earth Kingdom and the Water Tribe, having already destroyed the Air Nomads.
The film adaptations have been received with criticism by some fans and supporters over the racial ethnicity of the main cast, sparking accusations of racism, a letter-writing campaign and a protest. Upon release, the film was near-universally panned by critics and fans alike for its poor dialogue, muddled pacing, and wooden acting, though it did receive some praise for its visual effects and design. It is currently commercially solid with a $308,152,380 intake domestically.
Air, Water, Earth, Fire. For a hundred years, these four nations met their destinies when the Fire Nation launched a horrible war against the others. It began with Fire Lord Sozin's near extinction of the Air Nomads, and now led by Fire Lord Ozai (Cliff Curtis). Over all those years, the current Avatar, Aang (Noah Ringer), whose job was to keep balance in the world, was frozen in ice beneath the Southern Water Tribe, and is now the Last Airbender.
One day, the two Southern Water Tribe children, Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), are hunting for food for their tribe, when Sokka thinks he has found tracks for a tiger seal. Although he presumes he does everything right, they turn the corner and come up with nothing. Katara then notices a strange glowing in the ice, and using Sokka's club, she awakens Aang, along with his Flying Bison named Appa. Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones who found him. Ozai's exiled son, Prince Zuko (Dev Patel) along with his Uncle Iroh (Shaun Toub) sees the bright light coming from the opening ice, and both wasted no time in going to the Southern Tribe to fulfill Zuko's destiny as his father ordered. Zuko, along with his soldiers, scanned the area and found Aang, bringing him aboard the ship and imprisoning him. Iroh gave Aang a test to see if he really was the Avatar. Iroh put a candle in front of Aang, he then pours water on the table in front of Aang, after that, he put a rock in front of Aang. The flame rises, the water joins to form a perfect circle, and the rock rises in the air. After the test was successful, Aang escaped, realizing that he would go to the Fire Nation if he didn't, oblivious of the evil Fire Lord Sozin brought upon the world. After an escape on Appa, he, along with Katara and Sokka, headed for the Southern Air Temple. After finding out the truth about his people's demise, Aang enters the Avatar State, unable to control himself. Due to his state, he entered the Spirit World and talked to a Dragon Spirit, Avatar Roku's dragon Fang, before regaining control. They left with a winged lemur, whom they named Momo.
They enter an Earth Kingdom village, getting themselves imprisoned for defending an Earthbending boy named Haru. Aang convinces them to fight back and get their own territory back, revealing he is the Avatar. Using this tactic, they started a rebellion, freeing village by village, eventually saving the island of Kyoshi, a past Avatar. One day, they received a reward: the Waterbending Scroll, which helped both Aang and Katara start to learn Waterbending. This proved helpful, although he has trouble containing his anger at himself when bending. Aang is convinced he must speak to Fang, the Dragon Spirit, again, and visited the Northern Air Temple to see a big trap. Dozens of Firebenders lashed out at Aang, led by Commander Zhao (Aasif Mandvi). A swordsman whom the Commander's soldiers called "The Blue Spirit" came in and defended Aang. Through their combined work, they escaped, only with the Spirit being shot with an arrow. Aang moved the mask and found out it was Zuko all along. He decided to care for him, then left him before he could awake. Aang then left for the Northern Water Tribe with Katara and Sokka.
When they met the Royal Family, Sokka instantly fell in love with Princess Yue (Seychelle Gabrielle), who had her life given to her by the Moon Spirit, and Aang and Katara spent a few weeks training with Master Pakku (Francis Guinan). Soon enough, though, the entire Fire Nation Navy attacked the city, fighting ferociously. Meanwhile, Zuko snuck into the city, looking for Aang. Aang believed that he had no chance at defeating them, and needed help from the Dragon Spirit. Yue, Katara, and Sokka took Aang to the Spirit Oasis, where two koi fish swam in a circle. Upon meeting Fang once again, Aang found out that the fish were the Moon and Ocean Spirits, who provided power to Waterbenders, were now stronger than ever because there would be a full moon that night. Unfortunately, Zhao also obtained this information from a secret Library he raided almost a year previously, planning to kill the Moon Spirit with Fire Lord Ozai's order.
Zuko then came in the Oasis, attacking Katara as Aang was meditating. After Katara introduced herself, Zuko sent two fire blasts at her that she could not block, and was knocked unconscious. He felt her breathing, making sure she was still alive and spoke to her unconscious form, saying he won't be allowed to return to the Fire Nation without the Avatar. He then steals Aang, hiding him in a shed. Soon after, Aang left the Spirit World to find Zuko telling his life story to him. Aang then engaged Zuko in battle, eventually freezing him with the help of the reawakened Katara. Once he found it safe, he unfroze Zuko's head, running away and letting him do the rest with Firebending. Meanwhile, Zhao and Iroh entered the Spirit Oasis, took the Moon Spirit and prepared to kill it, as Katara, Sokka and Yue come in. Iroh intervened, threatening Zhao with Firebending. Zhao ignored and stabbed the fish with a dagger before dropping it back in the pond. Just then, all the Waterbenders' power left, seemingly allowing the Fire Nation victory. Out of fury, Iroh spreads out his hands and "creates his own fire" (something the Fire Nation can't do in the movie, they can only take it from other sources.) and the Fire nation soldiers in the Oasis flee to safety. Iroh calms down and the four mourn the Moon spirit, when Iroh realizes Yue's been given life from the moon spirit, and begs her to bring the spirit back to life, Sokka argues, however, but Yue realized that it was her destiny. Yue then walked into the pond to give her life back to the Moon, and did so, leaving Sokka to mourn for the new Moon Spirit. While this happened, the Moon returned, giving the Waterbenders enough power to attack again and kill Zhao. Aang joined the fight, eventually climbing to the outer wall of the City, overlooking a vast armada of ships. He entered the Avatar State and generated a giant tsunami as a threat to the Fire Navy. The ships all left when Aang's threat grew larger and taller with every second, securing the victory of the Water Tribe. Everyone in the city bowed down to Aang, even the defeated Fire Nation soldiers, and he (after realizing that this was his duty) then bowed back, finally accepting his role as the Avatar.
In the Fire Nation, Fire Lord Ozai gives his daughter Azula the task of capturing her uncle and brother, as well as the mission of capturing Aang and hindering his attempts to defeat the Fire Nation until Sozin's Comet returns in three years time.
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